Imágenes de páginas
[merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors]

1809. February list for the present year, is 1140, including

59 hired vessels. These deducted leave 1081, 20
more than the abstract total ; a difference discover-
able, almost wholly, among the building ships, those
in the abstract being 82, while Steel enumerates
100. Among the latter he includes 50 instead of 47
line-of-battle ships. The three surplus ships were
the Akbar, Julius, and Orford; the first, ordered but
countermanded; the two others, not ordered at all.
As a further proof of his imperfect information, Steel
names 14 only out of his remaining 50 under-line
building ships. Nor does the list, as usual, notify
the yards or places at which the unnamed vessels
are constructing. The abstract for the present year
shows the launching of the Caledonia, a ship of very
large dimensions, and, as a first-rate, of extraor-
dinary qualifications. Some interesting particulars
respecting her will be found in the Notes to the
Abstracts at the end of the volume.

The 20 captured enemy's national vessels pur-
chased into the service will be found among those
in the foreign prize-lists of the year 1808 ;* as will
the 34 vessels lost by the british navy during the
same period, in the list appropriated to them.t
The number of the latter still continues to be of
serious amount; of which the wrecked cases, with
all their attendant calamities, constitute full two

The number of commissioned officers and masters,
belonging to the british navy at the commencement
of the year 1809, was,



superannuated 45


[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]

Officers, &c.


At rock. sood

borththe R


[ocr errors]



* See Appendix, Nos. 6, and 7.
+ See Appendix, No. 8.

Commanders or sloop-captains :


1809. superannuated 49

Feb. Lieutenants

3036 Master

491 And the number of seamen and marines, voted for the service of the same year, was 130000.*

We last year left in the road of Brest, waiting an opportunity to put to sea, a squadron of eight sail of the line and some frigates. The continued pre- French valence of westerly gales, during the latter part of squaJanuary and the commencement of February, having sails driven admiral lord Gambier from his station off from

Brest. Ushant, afforded that opportunity; and accordingly, on the 21st of February, at daylight, rear-admiral Willaumez weighed and put to sea with the following squadron: gun-ship 120 Océan

Srear-adm. Jean-Bapt.-Philibert Willaumez. .

captain Pierre-Nicolas Rolland. Foudroyant..

rear-adm. Antoine-Louis Gourdon. 80

captain Antoine Henri.

Jacques Bergeret.

Charles-Nicolas Lacaille.

Charles Lebozec. 743 Tonnerre

Nicolas Clément de la Roncière.

Jacques-Remy Maingon.

Jean-Jacques-Etienne Lucas.

Guillaume-Marcellin Proteau, 40 Elbe.....

Jacques-François Bellenger. Brig-corvette Nisus; schooner (late british) Magpie.

At 9 A. M. the rearmost ship doubled the Vendrée rock, and the french squadron, in line of battle, stood for the Raz, with a fresh breeze at northnorth-east. Just as the headmost ships had cleared Is disthe Raz passage, they were descried by the british covers 74-gun ship Revenge, captain the honourable Charles RePaget. The latter immediately steered for the venge. Glenans, to give information to captain John Poer Beresford; who, with the Theseus 74, and the

* See Appendix, No. 9.

[ocr errors]

M.Willaus mez's

1809, Triumph and Valiant, of the same force, captains
Peb. sir Thomas Masterman Hardy and Alexander Ro-

bert Kerr, was blockading three sail of the line and
three frigates in the road of Lorient. At 30 minutes
past noon the Revenge lost sight of the french ships,
but at 3 h. 15 m. P. M. again discovered them, and a
minute or two afterwards exchanged numbers with
the Theseus, in the south-west, off Isle Groix,

The instructions to M. Willaumez were to chase

from off the port of Lorient the british blockading instruc- squadron, stated to be of four sail of the line besides tions. frigates, in order that commodore Troude, with his

three sail of the line and five frigates, might join the
former. If, however, the tide should happen not to
şuit at the moment that he appeared off the port, the
rear-admiral was to proceed straight to Basque roads,
and dispossess of that anchorage a british squadron,
stated also to consist of four sail of the line. M.
Willaumez was then to anchor in the road of
Isle d'Aix, and there wait for further orders. So
far the Moniteur. But those orders had already
issued. Adding to his 11 sail of the line the Roche-
fort squadron of three, and the Calcutta armed en
flûte and frigates, M. Willaumez was to make the
best of his way to Martinique ; and, with his feet
and the troops that were on board of it, he was to saye
that island from falling into the hands of the British,
who, by the last accounts, were on the eve of
attacking it.

It was at about 4 h. 30 m. P. M. that the squadrons falls in of rear-admiral Willaumez and commodore Berescapt. ford fully discovered each other. The latter was ford's then steering about east-south-east, with a fresh squa- breeze at north-north-east, and the former was

nearly close hauled on the same tack. Rear-admiral

Gourdon's division, consisting of four sail of the line, molest immediately bore up in chase, and the remaining

division soon afterwards did the same. Whereupon
the british squadron tacked, and steered west-north-
west, formed in line of battle, the Theseus leading,

bllowed b

short co this course beach ship thin four heir wind. ? sight of urtened s padron, w g of the be

calm ationary ; meze from fer sending ndore Tro the Pert ai quadro stinued in uch ship Pred for st; and at Meast of th 23i-gunfri


tachor to Bise, consi harles Ric ins Henry

επood, a na in Eng)


rockets piral, an und stood t

dron, but does not

he Amethy mar-admira

wadronte Antioche.


[merged small][ocr errors]

followed by the Revenge, Triumph, and Valiant. 1809. A short continuance of the british squadron upon Feb. this course leaving open the port of Lorient, the french ships, by the time they had approached within four or five miles of the enemy, again hauled their wind. At 6 P. M., neither squadron then in sight of the other, the british ships tacked and shortened sail; and at about the same time the french squadron, wbich had been partly delayed by the falling of the breeze, arrived off Isle Groix. »

A calm during the night kept both squadrons stationary; but at daylight on the 23d a fresh breeze from the north-west enabled M. Willaumez, after sending in the Magpie schooner to apprize com, modore Troude of his arrival off the port, to steer for the Pertuis d'Antioche. At about 9 A, M. the two squadrons regained a view of each other, and continued in sight until late in the afternoon. The Is seen french ships then, passing inside of Belle-Isle, nalled steered for Isle d'Yeu, with the wind back to north by east; and at 10 h. 30 m. P. M., just as they had arrived thyst

. abreast of the Tour de Baleine, were discovered by the 36-gun frigate Amethyst, captain Michael Şeymour, the look-out ship of rear-admiral Stopford's squadron, at anchor to the north-west of the Chasseron lighthouse, consisting of the 80-gun ship Cæsar, captain Charles Richardson, and 74-gun ships Defiance, captains Henry Hotham, and Donegal, captain Peter Heywood, acting for captain Pulteney Malcolm, who was in England attending a court-martial. A flight. of rockets soon conveyed the information to the rearadmiral, and the british squadron got under way and stood to the north-west, the direction in which the Amethyst lay. - At about midnight the british Enters rear-admiral gained a sight of M. Willaumez's Basque squadron to the eastward, standing into the Pertuis d'Antioche. The former went in chase, and at day, light on the 24th saw the French in the act of entering Basque roads. Rear-admiral Stopford, rightly considering that the squadron bad escaped from Brest,

[blocks in formation]



eries Defiani Dinega

1809. despatched by signal the 38-gun frigate Naiad,
Feb. captain Thomas Dundas, to acquaint lord Gambier

with the circumstance. At7 A. M. the Naïad, having
run a few miles to the north-west, made the signal of
three suspicious sail coming down from the north-
ward: whereupon, leaving the Amethyst, in company
with the 36-gun frigate Emerald, captain Frederick
Lewis Maitland, to watch the squadron of M. Wil-
laumez, rear-admiral Stopford wore and made sail
in the direction pointed out by the Naïad.

Shortly after rear-admiral Willaumez had sailed frigates

from Isle Groix, the three french 40-gun frigates from Italienne, commodore Pierre-Roch Jurien, and rient. Calypso and Cybèle, captains Louis-Léon Jacob and

Raymond Cocault, sailed from Lorient, with the
wind at about east-north-east. Finding, on clearing
the road, that commodore Troude, owing to the
state of the tide, had not a sufficient depth of water
to enable him to get under way, captain Jurien stood
to sea, and in the evening, when off Belle-Isle steering
along the coast to the south-east, descried in the
offing the squadron of commodore Beresford. On
the 24th, at daylight, the Tour de Baleine made its
appearance; and the british 38-gun frigate Amelia,
captain the honourable Frederick Paul Irby, accom-
panied by the 18-gun brig-sloop Dotterel, captain
Anthony Abdy, both of whom had been in Chase
during the whole of the night, now approached so
near to the Cybèle, the rearmost french frigate, that
her two consorts hauled up for her support. It was

about this time that captain Jurien observed the They squadron of rear-admiral Stopford, approaching from for the the south-east. Being thus completely cut off, the Sable french commodore, with the wind now at about lonne. south-east by east, steered for the Sable d'Olonne,

and was followed closely by the Amelia and Dot

terel. At 9 A. M. the two latter tacked to the northDotte- east, as the three french frigates had previously

done; and in ten minutes more the Amelia, having them. wore round, hauled under the stern of the Cybèle,

[blocks in formation]

Amelia and

rel attack

[blocks in formation]
« AnteriorContinuar »